The Lead Jan. 7, 2021: COVID-19 claims another Kerr County life; livestock show produces a grand champ

Ingram Tom Moore High student sweeps a market goat competition on Thursday at the Kerr County Livestock Show.


It's a chilly one this morning. We're headed for another mild day today with a high of 58, but the weekend looks sunny and bright — maybe not the kind of forecast the allergy sufferers want to read. The website has rolled back some of its worst-case scenarios for cedar fever sufferers, but it's still going to be high all weekend.


We're going to have a two-hour show where we will discuss food, public financing and George Washington — most likely in that order. In a lineup change, the folks at Veccino's Salsa will join us to discuss their work at the Kerrville Farmer's Market, which returns for the 2022 season today at 4 p.m. at Schreiner-Schellhase Mansion on Water Street next to the Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library. Also on the show:

  • Pete Calderon will discuss his work on a Kerr County Committee examining the county's capital facilities needs in the run-up to placing a general obligation bond on the November 2022 ballot. One of the areas we will discuss is the Kerr County Youth Event Center.
  • Schreiner University Professor Ben Montoya will join us to discuss his lecture series about George Washington.


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Kerr County's suffered its first 2022 COVID-19 death, most likely attributed to the omicron variant, when the Texas Department of State Health Services announced the fatality on Thursday.

The death appears to have happened on Monday — outside of Kerr County. All of this comes on a day when Texas reported more than 43,000 new cases, and positivity hit 35%. There is no indication when this latest surge will subside. Since Dec. 13, more than 500,000 Texans have tested positive for COVID-19.

The DSHS system appears to be so backlogged that it's unclear how many cases may be out there. The spreadsheet used to track the virus shows that from Dec. 27-29, 161,000 people tested positive using a molecular test — that's nearly double what The Lead reported earlier this week.

When it comes to fatalities, the reporting on the latest Kerr County death was unusually quick for DSHS. The agency says this is Kerr County's 143 death, but DSHS hasn't confirmed a death at Peterson Regional Medical Center in months. The Lead estimates Kerr County's death toll as more than 200.

Even more alarming is the number of pediatric patients rose statewide to more than 350 children — based on data at least 24 hours old. Doctors across the state see a rising number of children sickened by COVID-19, and the pediatric symptoms appear to be no milder than those of early variants.

The number hospitalized rose to 8,740 people, or by 7.5% since Tuesday. Once again, this data is at least 24 hours old.


Brooke Fisher, left, smiles after winning a divisional championship for a market goat competition at the Kerr County Livestock Show.

Brooke Fisher was very busy Thursday afternoon at the Hill Country Youth Event Center. The 19-year-old senior at Ingram Tom Moore High School was showing a pair of goats at the Kerr County Livestock Show, and she took home the critters and the hardware of a champion.

On Thursday, Fisher was just one of the compelling stories in the renewed and revised stock show, now split over two events in the next two weeks. Fisher won a pair of division championships for her market goats and was named Grand Champion to cap a stellar day.

While not as large as the Hill Country District Junior Livestock Show, which was split into multiple events after COVID-19 disrupted it in 2021, the new format features a more compact format and an emphasis on Kerr County students. There's still the big auction at the end of the show on Saturday. However, the next phase in the competition will be the Hill Country Grandstand Show that will take place in Kerrville, Llano and Fredericksburg starting Jan. 16.

Fisher wiped her brow at one point in the pressure-packed competition, where judges carefully grade the animal, but she also proved to be graceful under pressure. Of course, the goat that won the grand championship was also a bit temperamental.

"This is my best goat, but he gives me the most trouble," said Fisher, embraced by a large and extended family after her victories. "Sometimes they just don't want to walk."

Fisher said showing goats is a challenge because goats can be strong-willed.

In the crowd during the show was Kerr County Pct. 3 Commissioner Jonathan Letz, watching his son, Sam, who was intensely showing his goat. Jonathan Letz admitted he gets a little bit more nervous during his son's baseball games, but this event always proves to be an exciting one for the family. Sam has been showing goats since he was in the second grade.

The show continues at 9 a.m. today with steer, heifers and pigs — lots and lots of pigs.


We asked Commissioner Letz about the improvements needed at the Hill Country Youth Event Center's other show barn, which features a dirt floor. After years of animal droppings, the dirt floor is now contaminated and unsafe. Letz said a proposed bond initiative in November could help rectify the problem.

"Hopefully it will look a lot more like this building," Letz said of the plan to match the dirt-floor barn with the more modern show barn, home of the Kerr County Livestock Show. The show barn has become one of the most essential facilities in Kerr County — hosting a wide range of events and activities. Having a second comparable building would be a benefit, Letz said.

In addition, one of Letz's main jobs on the commissioner's court is overseeing the Kerr County Animal Services. A new animal shelter will likely be part of the planned general obligation bond. Letz said the county would work closely with Kerrville Pets Alive and the county's capital improvement committee to determine the needs of a new shelter.


In a stunning achievement Thursday, the Kerrville Planning and Zoning Commission finished its meeting in 15 minutes. Of course, there were just two items on the agenda, but it was impressive.

The commission approved a final plat for a proposed commercial development along Loop 534 and Landfill Road, which the developers say has already landed five occupants. Ed Hamilton, the property owner, said the businesses range from a granite countertop manufacturer to an off-road vehicle outfitter.

The other approval is the first step in bringing more than 60 acres into the Kerrville city limits in Comanche Trace. The annexation includes a significant portion of the golf course, and it also allows the upscale development to build a new medium-density phase. More importantly, the annexation clears the way for Comanche Trace Drive to connect to Lower Turtle Creek Drive.

The meeting also welcomed two of the commission's three new members — Abram Bueche and Jeff Harris. Commissioner Kevin Bernhard could not attend the 4:30 p.m. meeting due to a work commitment.

New planning and zoning commissioner Jeff Harris.

New planning and zoning commissioner Abram Bueche.


Schreiner University men's and women's basketball teams are back on the court tonight in Georgetown, Texas, at Southwestern University. The men's team is riding a two-game winning streak, while the women's team faced a pair of COVID-19 postponements. The men tip off at 5:30 p.m., while the women start at 7:30 p.m.

The two teams return to Kerrville on Saturday for a doubleheader with Southwestern. Saturday's games are at 4 p.m. (men) and 6 p.m. (women).

In four of their last five games, the Schreiner men faced one tight game after another. A combined 12 points decided four of those games.


Just some of the things going on this weekend!


The Kerr County Livestock Show

Hill Country Youth Event Center, Kerrville

9 a.m.

Hill Country Arts Foundation, Ingram

Featuring work by Johnson Creek Printmakers and the Monday Artists

  • While both artists have long been associated with HCAF, their art features a wide variety of styles and mediums. This show runs through Feb. 11.

Live music by Camerata San Antonio String Quartet

First Presbyterian Church, Kerrville

4 p.m.

  • Grammy-nominated Camerata San Antonio is a flexible classical chamber music ensemble serving San Antonio and Hill Country.

Kerrville Farmer's Market

Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library

4-6 p.m.

Pick up some fresh veggies, salsa, and pork chops at Kerrville's Farmer's Market. There are also cookies, free beer samples, brick-oven pizza, and many other vendors, including some guy selling pecans.

Live music by Ken Raba

Cafe at the Ridge, Kerrville

6 p.m.

  • He has a smooth classic country voice, with well-woven songs of the people and places he has lived, rivers crossed, horses rode, history recounted, and loves; some won, some lost.

Live music by Dickie Kaiser

Southern Sky Music Cafe, Ingram

6:30 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 8

The Kerr County Livestock Show

Hill Country Youth Event Center, Kerrville

1 p.m. The sale.

  • One of Kerr County's biggest events, where you can have a lot of fun and support the local FFA and 4-H students with a purchase, but be prepared to spend.

Local author Skye Alexander reading and book signing

Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library, Kerrville

2 p.m.

  • Local author Skye Alexander will have a reading and book signing for her new book, "Never Try to Catch a Falling Knife." The book is her first installment in a new mystery series and introduces the character Lizzie Crane and her jazz troupe. This event is free and open to the public.

Second Saturday Craft Day

Museum of Western Art, Kerrville

2-4 p.m.

  • Join in the fun of painting mittens, crafting paper snowmen, making candle holders and more. Free to attend. Reservations required. Email:

Live Music by Boone Holding

Southern Sky Music Cafe, Ingram

Live music by Reuben Darnell

Cafe at The Ridge

6 p.m.

Live music by Symphony of the Hills

Cailloux Theater

7:30 p.m.

  • The symphony welcomes the New Year with a musical exploration of the universal drive to seek new frontiers and accomplishments.


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